Six people were killed on Wednesday when 15 letter bombs exploded in southern China, state media reported, with blasts reported in more than ten locations including government offices. Dozens more were injured by the explosives apparently placed in express delivery packages, the official Xinhua news agency said of the blasts on the eve of China’s national day holiday.
The explosions occurred in at least 13 locations in a rural county in China’s Guangxi region, the Nanguo Morning News, a local newspaper, cited police as saying. They included a prison, a government office and a shopping centre, it said. State broadcaster CCTV cited a local police chief as saying the blasts were caused by several different explosive devices, adding that “the case is understood to be a criminal one”.
The blasts occurred at the seat of Liucheng county and the surrounding areas, Xinhua said. Pictures online showed a building half-collapsed. Witnesses also saw damaged vehicles on the road, Xinhua said. “Initial investigation showed that explosives could be inside express delivery packages,” it added.
In recent years several disgruntled Chinese citizens have bombed local government offices and public places in an attempt to bring attention to their grievances.
In Nigeria, one prominent person who was assassinated by Letter bomb was Dele Giwa in his Lagos home on 19 October 1986. The assassination occurred two days after he had been interviewed by security operatives.
In the days leading to his death, Giwa was falsely accused of trying to radicalise Nigeria and looking for ways to destabilise it, as well as of possibly publishing stories on the removal of government officials. At this point, he started to fear for his life and that of his family.
On Sunday October 19, 1986, Giwa was working in his study with fellow journalist and friend, Newswatch’s London bureau chief Kayode Soyinka, when he received a parcel with a “confidential” stamp and the Nigerian coat-of-arms and “from the Commander-in-Chief” printed on the corner.
The parcel was a bomb and exploded as Giwa opened it. Soyinka lost consciousness, and Giwa’s wife – who had just put their daughter Aisha to sleep upstairs – had to get Giwa out of the smoke. His legs had been crushed and cut off in the explosion.
He was rushed to hospital where, after many attempts to save his life, he died. An investigation ensued with Newswatch calling for the suspension of the security officials linked to the killing. Nine months after Giwa’s death, the police said that all their leads had been exhausted and that they could not find any suspects.